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Gordon Brown hit by Tory poll surge


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Gordon Brown hit by Tory poll surge

By Patrick Hennessy, Political Editor

Last Updated: 1:24pm BST 14/10/2007

Gordon Brown is facing a major new blow with an opinion poll showing public support for the Tories at its highest level for 15 years.

The ICM survey for The Sunday Telegraph puts the Conservatives on 43 per cent - seven points ahead of Labour on 36 - with the Liberal Democrats trailing badly on 14 per cent.

The findings come as a trio of disgruntled supporters of Tony Blair prepare a campaign of attacks on Mr Brown's premiership and his "lack of vision".

Charles Clarke, Stephen Byers and Alan Milburn plan a provocative series of speeches and interviews against Mr Brown's policies, reviving the Blair-Brown factional clashes which dogged Mr Blair's time in office.

Lord Charles Falconer, the former justice secretary and an ex-flatmate of Blair's, further increased the pressure on Mr Brown today by urging him to clarify his vision for government.

"Renewal does not come from leadership alone," he told Times Online, in a thinly-veiled dig at Mr Brown's perceived lack of fresh ideas.

"If we rely on experience and our ability to handle crises and do not set out, in the coming months, our vision for the future of the UK, a vision which represents the progressive view of politics, then we will be offering drift not leadership, and the past not the future."

Labour is down two points on the last ICM poll, taken just over a week ago, which put the two main parties neck-and-neck on 38 per cent, while the Conservatives are up five points.

If the figures were repeated in a general election, David Cameron would be prime minister with a single-figure Commons majority, while Sir Menzies Campbell's party would be reduced to a tiny rump of MPs.

The last time the Conservatives hit 43 per cent in any poll was in the months before Black Wednesday, 15 years ago, during John Major's premiership, when the pound fell out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, destroying the Tories' reputation for economic competence.

The ICM survey findings cap an extraordinary turnaround for Mr Cameron and his party, who were looking dead and buried a fortnight ago, with Labour 11 points ahead in the polls.

Since then, the Tories have seen their support soar after unveiling a series of policy initiatives - particularly over inheritance tax - designed to appeal to Middle Britain.

Mr Brown, by contrast, has suffered his worst fortnight since entering 10 Downing Street in June. His 11th-hour decision not to hold an autumn election led to accusations of cowardice. It sparked in-fighting within the Government and exposed him to a Commons mauling by Mr Cameron.

The Tory leader has opened a fresh front, accusing Mr Brown of betraying "trust and democracy" by refusing to pledge a plebiscite on the European Union's reform treaty, whose wording he will seek to agree with other leaders this week.

Full story, Source: The Telegraph

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Not quite as clear cut as you would think though...

Courtesy Daily Telegraph

In the ICM poll, 66 per cent of surveyed voters wanted Mr Brown to hold a referendum, while 21 per cent did not. If a vote were held, 47 per cent would oppose the treaty while 29 per cent would back it.

The poll contains some crumbs of comfort for Mr Brown. Mr Brown still decisively beats Mr Cameron by 52 per cent to 32 per cent when voters are asked which is the strongest leader.

Voters were split (at 41 per cent for and against) over whether Mr Brown was right or wrong to call off election plans.

He and Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, are seen as a better bet than Mr Cameron and George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, to run the economy but the 11-point gap (47 to 36 per cent) is narrower than some recent polls.

Labour's poll decline, if repeated over the coming months, makes it likelier that Mr Brown will delay calling an election until 2009 or 2010.

ICM surveyed a random sample of 1,010 voters by telephone on October 10 and 11. Results have been weighted to the profile of all adults

Quite honestly, if Brown calls a referendum on the new EU "Treaty" then his standing will probably increase to a 10 point lead over the Tories.

The Telegraph is not called the "Torygraph" for no reason. :lol:

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Keith, Gordon Brown is so arrogant and full of self worth and self importance, to sign us up to the EU treaty even though the people he's suppose to serve want a vote. the Liebour party even promised us a vote, while Gordon is swanning around Lisbon today agreeing to give more of our powers to Europe, we the people are by the look of things just sitting back and taking it, its no wonder the country is in such a state we have lost our back bone to stand up and be counted, whats the rumbling i can hear,.....its Churchill turning in his Grave.

watch his display, and answer to DC about the EU.


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